Issue: Whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ignored this Court’s precedent and erred in holding that Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Section 38-651(O) (Section O) violates the Equal Protection Clause by limiting healthcare benefits to state employees’ spouses and dependents – and thus not extending such benefits to state employees’ domestic partners – given that a) Section O is facially neutral and there is no evidence that the Legislature intended to discriminate based on sexual
orientation; b) Section O furthers the State’s interests
in promoting marriage while also eliminating the additional expense and administrative burdens involved in providing healthcare benefits to state employees’ domestic partners; and c) the court’s reason for finding that Section O discriminates against gay and lesbian state employees was that Arizona prohibits same-sex marriage.
In an unanimous decision, the Court held that a soybean farmer cannot reproduce agri-giant Monsanto’s patented, genetically modified seeds through planting and harvesting without the company’s permission. Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss the legal, agricultural, and technological implications of this decision.
At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect orders from the May 16 Conference. Our list of “Petitions to watch” for that Conference is here. At 10 a.m. we expect opinions in argued cases. We will begin live blogging shortly before 9:30.
On Thursday the Justices will meet for their May 23 Conference. Our list of “Petitions to watch” for that Conference is here.
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